Today is Pi day (3.14). It’s also Einstein’s birthday. How appropriate that it is Stephen Hawking’s going Home day. 50 years after his diagnosis with ALS, after a lifetime of amazing scientific contributions, the man who understood the physical universe arguably better than anyone who has ever lived, has had his eyes opened wide. Stephen Hawking didn’t believe in an “afterlife”. I’d love to get his perspective on that now.
Of course, there’s controversy drummed up at his death. Too many Christians boast that he’s hell now precisely because he didn’t believe in hell or their version of God. Atheists say he’s like a computer that has switched off, an analogy I believe he used to describe death. A comic was drawn showing his empty wheelchair, stars in the background and him walking away. This offended many in the disabled community (is disabled the right word? differently abled?) who called people who posted the comic “ableists” They say that those who use wheelchairs don’t see them as a prison, the wheelchair gives them freedom.
Here’s the way I see it. I don’t know what it’s like to live in a wheelchair, unable to speak for decades, but I don’t think it’s a choice most of us would make if we had the choice. Having said that, these bodies are prisons for all of us.Yes, we learn to live with the limitations. We even come to accept them as normal. But, we can only perceive a tiny fraction of what’s going on around us. We are limited in time and space. The most “able” among us has to walk- we cannot fly. We cannot teleport. When we are in the body, whether we’re in a wheelchair or not, we are limited. When we shed these bodies, we will be more alive in ways we cannot even imagine now. Stephen Hawking didn’t believe in God or an afterlife. Fine. You don’t have to believe in anything to be alive here. You don’t have to believe anything to remain alive once your body stops working. And there is no God sitting there waiting to punish you for not believing. Sorry, He’s also not sitting there waiting to reward you for believing.
p.s.- one of my Facebook friends pointed out maybe Stephen Hawking will join the SoulPhone team. Wouldn’t that be ironic since he used technology as his voice for so many years while he was here?